The Ngorongoro Crater is often called ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the ‘8th Natural Wonder of the World,’ a visit to the crater is a main drawcard for tourists coming to Tanzania and a definite world-class attraction. Within the crater rim, large herds of zebra and wildebeest graze nearby while sleeping lions laze in the sun. At dawn, the endangered black rhino returns to the thick cover of the crater forests after grazing on dew-laden grass in the morning mist. Just outside the crater’s ridge, tall Masaai herd their cattle and goats over green pastures through the highland slopes, living alongside the wildlife as they have for centuries.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area includes its eponymous famous crater, Olduvai Gorge, and huge expanses of highland plains, scrub bush, and forests that cover approximately 8300 square kilometres. A protected area, only indigenous tribes such as the Masaai are allowed to live within its borders. Lake Ndutu and Masek, both alkaline soda lakes are home to rich game populations, as well as a series of peaks and volcanoes and make the Conservation Area a unique and beautiful landscape. Of course, the crater itself, actually a type of collapsed volcano called a caldera, is the main attraction. Accommodation is located on its ridges and after a beautiful descent down the crater rim, passing lush rain forest and thick vegetation, the flora opens to grassy plains throughout the crater floor. The game viewing is truly incredible, and the topography and views of the surrounding Crater Highlands out of this world.
This truly magical place is home to Olduvai Gorge, where the Leakeys discovered the hominoid remains of a 1.8 million year old skeleton of Australopithecus boisei, one of the distinct links of the human evolutionary chain. In a small canyon just north of the crater, the Leakeys and their team of international archaeologists unearthed the ruins of at least three distinct hominoid species, and also came upon a complete series of hominoid footprints estimated to be over 3.7 million years old. Evacuated fossils show that the area is one of the oldest sites of hominoid habitation in the world.
The Ngorongoro Crater and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are without a doubt some of the most beautiful parts of Tanzania, steeped in history and teeming with wildlife. Besides vehicle safaris to Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, and surrounding attractions, hiking treks through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are becoming increasingly popular options. Either way you choose to visit, the Crater Highlands are an unforgettable part of the Tanzanian experience.
Day 1: ARUSHA – SERENGETI PARK
After breakfast, leave Arusha for Serengeti with lunch en route. On arrival, proceed for a game drive. The park covers 12,944km2 of open plains
making it one of the largest in the world. The rocky outcrops commonly known as Moru kopjes in the eastern part of the park are of scenic beauty and Serengeti National Park occasionally cats can be seen lazing on them. The park contains vast herds of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and other antelopes. Dinner and overnight at the Seronera campsite/lodge.
Day2: FULL DAY SERENGETI
Morning and afternoon game drives in the Serengeti with a lunch and leisure break at the camp in the mid afternoon. The term Serengeti means endless plains in Maasai language. In the central plains there are carnivores like leopard, lion, hyena and cheetah. This park is normally the scene of the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra that occurs between the Kenyan Mara and the Serengeti. Varied bird species can be seen here including eagles, ducks, geese, egrets, vultures, secretary birds, ibis, stork, herons, kites, pelicans, cranes and guinea fowl. Dinner and overnight at the Seronera campsite/lodge.
Day3: SERENGETI – NGORONGORO
After breakfast, depart Serengeti and drive to Ngorongoro crater. Game drive
and Picnic Lunch en route to Ngorongoro Simba campsite for dinner and
Day 4: NGORONGORO – LAKE MANYARA
Breakfast at around 0600am. Take Picnic Lunch with you and drive fifteen minutes to the Ngorongoro Crater floor for the Game drive. View the various resident animals on the crater floor. The largest unbroken caldera in the world, Ngorongoro has an area of 260 kilometers and a depth of 610 meters.
The crater provides a protected habitat for thousands of mammals and birds. The entire day is spent on the crater floor viewing lion, hyena, wildebeest, zebra, black rhinoceros, and many species of small antelopes. This is one of the natural wonders of the world. Picnic Lunch in the Crater. Afternoon at before 0430pm you will drive to Twiga campsite/lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day5: LAKE MANYARA – ARUSHA – NAIROBI
Depart for Lake Manyara, the old Hunter’s paradise. This is home to the
famous tree climbing lions which you are however not guaranteed to see. On the Lake shore you will find thousands of flamingoes and other water birds conducting their daily business amongst the hippos. After a lunch break at the camp you continue viewing Lake Manyara Park famous for its tree climbing lions and large flocks of flamingoes.
The park contains five distinct vegetation zones and is of scenic beauty. Branch breakfast at the campsite and drive back to Arusha before 0100pm for the shuttle Bus back to Nairobi.flamingoes. Spend the afternoon at the Crater, in the evening drive back to Arusha.
Your safari price include:
Sharing twin tents during the safari, accommodation as indicated, Transportation in a custom built safari 4 x 4 vehicle, game viewing as indicated, Professional English speaking driver guides experts in African wildlife, game driving/African culture, Cook, all park entry fees, crater service fee, and three meals per day while on safari.